The “Tax Cut Extension” included an extension of the federal subsidies for ethanol made from corn, in spite of the fact that even Al Gore now admits it was a mistake. He admits it was to gain support of farm state voters in Iowa and Tennessee. It cost $7.7 Billion in 1998. (www.huffingtonpost.com)
Federal law currently mandates blending 12 billion gallons of ethanol, rising to 15 billion in 2015. This will cause the Treasury to pay out $31 billion over this period.
We could get foreign sugar based ethanol cheaper but we have imposed a $0.54 tarrif to prevent imports while paying refiners a $0.34 subsidy.
The diverting of corn to fuel has now raised food prices in the U.S. and worldwide. (New York Times 1/19/11)
Finally, corn based ethanol yields only 1.34 energy units for each unit expended in its’ production. This is the lowest of all sources. Sugar yields 8 units.
The fifteen Senators listed below are active proponents of the subsidy. The Tea Party in their states should pressure them to withdraw their support if deference to the national need to reduce spending .
Grassley-R, Bond-R, Harkin-D, Nelson-D, Thune-R, Conrad-D, Klobuchar-D, Johnson-D,Dorgan-D, Johanns-R,Franken-D,Staberiow-D, Kirk-R, Caskill-D (Wikipedia-Ethanol Fuel)